How to have a $30,000 Wedding on a $3,000 budget
What's crack'a'lackin, I'm Levi Caleb Allan and I run a company called Beaux Art Co . (which is where you're reading this overly-scrumptious article). I absolutely love photographing and telling stories, especially couple's stories (including their wedding day).
Between handling 10-20 couples' weddings at any given moment, to photographing 30+ boutique weddings a year, I've picked up some super nifty tips and game-changing tricks to help young frothing couples like yourself plan and save time + money on the biggest day of your life.
(I've included a ridiculous $4,000 discount on our wedding photography for readers of this article. No travel fees to Aus + NZ, and no deposit required. More info at the bottom).
First let's cut the realistic cake, if you pick up any wedding magazine these days you'll be gob-smacked sideways like an amateur in netball at the costs and planning involved in a wedding. I mean who hasn't thought about illegally printing $50 notes just to afford their wedding flowers? *insert not surprised emoji here*.
How about Mr. & Mrs. Kanye West? I guess if you've got a casual $14-$20 million hanging out in your pantry you can have the wedding of the century.
For real though, how many of us can actually afford something as marvellous as the Yeezy Duo, and is it even necessary?
Trick is, you don't want to have a “budget” wedding (ultimate cringe vibes). For me, that conjures up images of chocolate covered strawberries and food that could give a child diabetes in minutes.
Let me be your knight in relatively shining armour and tell you a story about a couple who got married last year at what some would consider a 'dream wedding'.
They had an ocean view, beautiful music, amazing food, and a signature drink that'd re-define the meaning of "slap me silly and call me Billy, this is INCREDIBLE!".
Here's the honey snatcher: they had all of that and MORE for 70+ people, for a jaw-dropping $3,000. Yes, you read that right. Just $3,000 (how flipping ridiculous!?).
The reality is you simply don’t need to send yourself into bankruptcy to have a festive & enjoyable wedding. It’s actually quite silly to do so even if you have the money.
Think of all the things you could do with $30,000:
- buy a RIDICULOUS amount of indoor plants (your Insta game is #1 priority)
- hire a Swedish chef to cook variations of roast duck for the next two months
- feed half of Uganda
- fly to New York and relive your favourite moments of Friends
- pay off all those stupid uni debts, or buy a car?
The list could go on & on - more then my mum goes on about her cats.
Your Wedding should be about the specialty of marriage and not about the wedding itself, but I do understand the pressure of creating an amazing event. After all, it should be one of the best days of your life.
In this article I'm going to share eight ideas to cut down that wedding budget like a four-year-old playing Fruit Ninja.
Jess & Chris Guy // Brisbane High Church, July 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)
Before we even get into the juicy vibes of how to have a $30,000 wedding on a $3,000 budget, rule number one is is to actually HAVE A BUDGET! Shocking, right? You'd be more surprised than a cat that just gave birth to a dog at the amount of people that miss this key step. Know your numbers and know what you can spend. Boo-yah, let's get into it!
The Eight Great Ideas:
1. Location Woman, Location!
I'm sure you're no stranger to those words when it comes to real estate, but you can save MASSIVE amounts of money for your wedding depending on your location. Does a friend have an amazing/rustic backyard you could borrow? Perhaps you're friends with a restaurant owner who wouldn't mind you borrowing that space on their day off? Do you have a special skill or talent that you could barter for a free or reduced cost wedding venue? Look at who and what is around you and I guarantee you can find an incredible venue for literally next to nothing.
// Price Tag: $0
Karlie & Alex Tan // Yandina Station, November 2016 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)
2. The Dress
Pheeeewwwyy. Girls, this one's for you.
I know when you pick up a copy of that wedding mag you tinkle a little over the designer gowns. PIDDLE DIDS! You can do even better then that, and without that crazy price tag.
Look for a dress hanging on the rack that fits you, offer cash to drop the price that little bit lower. Another great idea is to either rent your dress, or if you have a friend that wore a killer dress, ask if you can buy it from her. You'd be blown away at what a little altering can do! Here's the back-to-reality fact, you're never going to wear your wedding dress again (unless you try it on in 50 years and cry about how much weight you've gained from having three kids), it's not always worth the insane price tag for something you'll wear once. Rent it, or look at buying a second hand one and alter it.
// Price Tag: $500
3. Vacation on My Mind
Who else suffers from wanderlust — a constant desire to travel? If you're clever, skip the wedding gifts that chances are you'll return anyway, and register for something super special. What I mean to say is, you should ask your guests to put money towards your honeymoon instead of going through the trouble of choosing traditional gifts and hoping you like them.
Make a seperate bank account dedicated to the funding of your dream trip, and ask everyone who would like to contribute, to deposit however much they desire into your dedicated account!
// Price Tag: $0
Photography (& videography) is another thing that's going to absolutely slaughter your budget if you're not careful. With technology and the crazy cameras in phones nowadays, there's no real excuse anymore. Just give your cousin's 16 year old kid with a camera a couple hundred bucks to take some photos. They won't say no!
// Price Tag: $250-$500
I ONLY recommend this if you're on a serious ass budget. If you play your cards right, you're only gonna get married once. Invest in someone who knows what they're doing, even if you're flabbergasted at the price - I promise you you'll thank yourself a billion times over when you show your kids these photos in 20 years time.
If you've been vibing the photos throughout this article, I think we'd get along better then two hyperactive Koalas at Australia Zoo.
For a super limited time we're offering $2,000 off our all-day wedding photography collection (only for readers of this article). We don't charge any travel fees for weddings in Aus & NZ, and we don't require a deposit.
More information at the bottom (scroll down!).
Moana & Storm Ellis // Maleny Retreat, June 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)
5. Dancin’ The Night Away
Forget about spending thousands on a band or DJ to have an awesome dance party. All you need is good speakers, a mixing deck (if you have access to one), and a Spotify playlist loaded with groovy tunes. The focus should be your guests having a good time, and after a few drinks they won’t even notice if you had a six-piece band or the best playlist of the century. Plus, they're here for you, not the dancing!
// Price Tag: $100
6. Time to Eat!
Don’t be afraid to go against the pod here. A couple hired an incredible wood-burning pizza truck that made next-level gourmet pizzas at half the price of a caterer with double the festive factor. To round this out, maybe you have an amazing neighbour who can make all the gourmet appetizers at cost. If you put your mind to it, you can be super inventive & budget conscious at the same time, without your guests even knowing. Think girl, think!
// Price Tag: $700
7. Let’s Accentuate
I can get into the smell of fresh flowers as much as the next guy (maybe), but gone are the days of needing a flower to cover every service at your reception. Think of flowers & decor as “accentuaters,” not the main attraction. One of the best-kept secrets is to set aside some money and go to your local flower shop (or even grocery store) the day of your wedding. Sure, you may not get exactly what you desire, but I guarantee you'll have a tsunami of options at a fraction of the cost. And, if you have a great backyard for a wedding the odds are you won’t even need flowers all!
Candles + candle holders, and vases can be found at the two-dollar shop. No one would ever know you only spent $50 and were able to adorn every table with sweet smelling candles and funky vases.
// Price Tag: $250
Kristina & Tom Birrell // Alexandra Headland, March 2018 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)
8. Put a Ring on It
Duh? I know, this is where I may lose you. Rings are a symbol of marriage and come in all shapes & sizes. Being creative with your money doesn’t have to stop here!
You may've heard the price of gold is very high at the moment. Right now it's jumping all over the place at around $1,500 per ounce! So what does that mean? If you have any old gold jewellery hanging out around the house, this might be your lucky day. Spend some time gathering your old pieces and take them to a reputable jewellery store and ask how much you could get. If you care to part with them (chances are you will) you'll have enough money to get a shiny new ring on-top.
Price Tag: $500-$1000
Jess & Chris Guy // Glass House Mountains, May 2017 (Photos; Beaux Art Co.)
There are no prizes for the most money spent on a wedding. It's quite possible to blow your guests away with a festive & stylish wedding that's super affordable at the same time. All you are left with is an empty bank account. Hopefully with these simple strategies you can start imagining your wedding, with all the glitz and glamour, at a fraction the price.
Keep scrolling for our $4,000 wedding photography discount.
Engaged to your best friend? Reckon your love story absolutely rocks socks?
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